Special thanks to seneca the talented and wonderful and to Lexy the talented and wonderful, also Tam, Sirona, Jill & Lynn, and evil-demon-inspiration-from-Hell Joss.
We dock tomorrow.
I went up on deck tonight to look at the moon. I tasted the sea air and I thought about how far away you are. An ocean away. Worries flooded me: are you being careful, are you listening to Giles, are you OK? Do you know I love you? Will you miss me?
I've been around long enough to know that I'll never know you completely. I'll never know so many things....if we spent the rest of our time together in one room, isolated, only getting to know each other, we would never know everything...we would know so little...humans aren't static, they transform focus from moment to moment. Like all living things, they grow. It's also the terrible irony of being undead; if it was boring enough none of us would last more than a decade, but we want things, we hate things, we feel many hungers...we grow and change, too; a vampire will change habits like a human, we become obsessed, we crave things other than blood, so we don't want to die a real death, and we experience the same degree of panic at the idea of becoming dust that humans do, facing the end. It's why I'll never know all of you, because I change, too...I lose interest in one poet for the time being and become absorbed in another, I become restless and wonder to different neighborhoods to hear different languages, I get a ravenous craving to see the blue of the day sky and have to hit a film or an art gallery. Humans, and even vampires, are not books. You can never know them by heart. You can only try.
The only thing I always crave is you. When you're in my arms I become greed itself; I'll never taste you enough, I'll never soak enough of you in. You said it once to me, that you weren't going to live forever, and I put that from me, I don't think about it. I'd rather you staked me. The thought of a world with you not walking around in it is worse than Hell was. It sounds obsessive, all of this, to human ears, but humans don't know how long eternity can really be and how rare life is, how nothing repeats, nothing is negligible. No snowflake is ever just like another, and every word from a stray conversation, every ribbon you ever wore in your hair, every time you kissed me, every single kiss, all were completely different in flavor and I memorized all of them. It all matters...to hold you, to have you, to know you, is all that matters. You always seemed to understand it, the way I love you. You never pushed me away for that reason. For other reasons, at times, and they were good reasons, but never because of the way I loved you. It never frightened you to have someone so completely in worship of you. I'm more grateful for that than you can imagine. It's a constant ache since we've been apart, but it's an ache for you. It's worth it.
You crawled in next to me tonight completely undressed; you were warm and silky all over, all tender curves and delicate skin. You pressed yourself against me, pushing your face into my neck. Something was heavy on your heart, I could feel it.
"Do you want to talk about it?" I asked.
"No," you said softly. You sighed, a long, deep sigh, clutching me. Little tremors went through you. You needed distraction.
"I'm the boss," I said, nuzzling your hair and waiting for objections; it was my way of asking you.
You turned your head and looked up at me, those little night skies gazing right at me. So often when you look at me I feel the same thrill I felt the first time you did it, in the mausoleum, when you saw me for the first time. The jolt still comes back to me.
"Yeah," you said, "You be the boss," I smiled and gathered you close to me, "But," you said, touching my wrist with the signal we use, like wrestlers, to halt the action if it becomes really unbearable, "I'm the boss next time so don't forget it,".
It was a warning. If I made it too exhausting you would take revenge and you have before, so you wanted me to keep that in mind, as if it would caution me. I had plans and I didn't care what your vengeance would be. Here's how it goes, in my imagination: the "boss" gets to do whatever the boss wants, and the one of us who isn't the boss must submit, not helping and not resisting. The signal for STOP is the word itself, or a light touch on the wrist. So far, neither signal has been used. The non-boss is allowed to beg, and make other noises, but not to be too distracting, and the boss can request silence, but that hasn't been done either; it's far too cruel. I rolled you over pulled you back against me, settling the soft, peach-like curves of you onto me; I lifted one of your legs and slipped my sex between your legs and up against the little petals there; you weren' t giving up any moisture yet. I kissed the back of your neck lingeringly, little dry kisses. I had one arm under your neck and I reached back beneath the pillow, pulling out a long, lush ostrich feather. You saw it and gasped; goose bumps rippled over your skin, I felt them come up against me. "Nooo," you whined, "Angel!"
"Just a little," I whispered.
A drop of moisture crept out from your sex and seeped over mine. I craned foreword so I could watch the feather moving lazily over your breasts and belly, under your chin and along your throat, and I absently kissed your ear.
"I dreamt you were walking by the water," I said.
You gasped as I moved the tip of the feather luxuriously around the circumference of your nipples, first one, then the other; but you made a valiant effort.
"The ocean, or a river?" you said, and then you whimpered.
I thought about it as I brushed the feather carefully over you. "The ocean," I said, "On the sand. It was strange, because the sun was coming up, but nothing was going to happen to me, for some reason. We got to see each other in the daylight. I walked up behind you and I put my arms around you-"
"But I had that dream, while you were gone," you said, "You told me you'd never leave-"
"Even if you killed me," I said, teasing the feather just above your little nest of curls, "It was one of the ones I was in, or part of the way in. I was trying to tell you it would be all right, but your guilt was too strong,"
You were panting already and a little more of the warm slippery honey of you spread over the tip of me; I pushed very slightly, feeling the petals of you tenderly give way. You crooned and arched back against me, unconsciously. I gripped you firmly in place so that you were forced to take only what I gave you, and I gave you just enough length so I could stay inside you and continue. I felt the hungry depths of your sex throbbing, trying to pull me deeper. Not yet.
"Oh, what I'm going to do to you, you are going to be SO SORRY for this, I'm going to make you-"
"Shhhh," I said.
I was carefully stroking your nipples with the feather; I pulled you closer. I leaned over and took one nipple in my mouth and nibbled lazily, lightly tickling the other one. You have an amazing nervous system, you have the nerves of a highly evolved predator, every one of the nearly invisible hairs on your arms seems to have radar, and the more sensitive parts of you are almost painfully alert. I have to touch you with heightened sensitivity...it's a state you put me in, anyway, it's like being drugged, every touch is magnified to the size of the world and the world itself disappears. The tiny pillar of your nipple in my mouth has thousands of possibilities.
"That was the worst time in my life," you gasped, "It was the loneliest I've ever been in my whole life,"
"It was for both of us," I said, "You were so brave. You're the bravest person I've ever known,"
You were beginning to hiss air in through your teeth and pant it out; the muscles in your legs were tensing and releasing in a rhythm. I pushed into you a tiny bit deeper, and I winced; you were so deliciously hot and buttery, I had to bite my lip. Your little cries were beginning to escalate. I stroked in and out of you in a slow, shallow movement, bringing you gradually closer, building your pleasure to an excruciating peak; you shuddered and then froze as your back locked, your shout stopped in your throat. Your body twitched, then loosened, bucking stongly. I held you down the best I could; you stopped moving and relaxed, your breath heaving as you crooned. I waited for it to subside, but not too far. I slipped deeper into you, slowly, steadily, and another wave approached, it was like an approaching seizure, your sex softened, opening, beckoning, but I resisted.
"Give me more! Angel!"
"Not yet," I said, keeping the motion steady. I took your hand and put the feather in it, "Let me watch you,"
You craned your head back against my chest and caressed yourself with the feather. Your eyes were closed. You trailed it over your entire body, your face, your lips, your breasts, lingering on your belly, and suddenly you shouted, trying to drive back against me; I moaned with the effort of keeping control. The pleasure coursed through you unevenly; just as it was starting to subside it washed over you again. I held your hip solidly and slowly slid the rest of the way into you. You convulsed and your sex gripped me. I gave myself to you with deep, even strokes, pressing my face into your shoulder. Our rhythm became everything, it became impossible to tell where your body ended and mine began, because the heat of you had permeated me. I felt nearly feverish, but I wanted you exhausted, I wanted to bring you to as many peaks as you could reach. You were shouting my name urgently, shuddering. I reached down and stroked my fingers through your curls, pulling back, exposing the swollen little pearl; you put your hand on mine and guided me. I love watching you as you do this with me. You pushed my finger in circles, quickening; I took over as you cried out.
"Like that?" I asked.
"YES. YES-" and then you were lost completely, driving against me, cooing sweetly. You were gripping the sheets and thrusting back onto me.
"Give it to me, now, NOW,"
I wrapped my arms around you and gripped you to me, thrusting into you as deeply as I could. You were starting to scream, I loved that sound, and I loved the wet sounds our bodies were making. Your sex released more honey and I felt myself expanding and growing taut; I grasped your leg and took you savagely, ramming into you. I was moaning into your neck. Your sex opened and clenched, opened and clenched, and for a few exquisite moments I was only conscious of the wet heat of you inside, I was lost in you. We both came out of it gradually, in stages, shuddering, you panting and exuding sweat; I love the way you smell, every different scent of you, your sweat is salty perfume. You were saying my name sweetly, with wonder and affection...I can't describe the way I feel when I hear you saying my name like that. It shatters me.
"I love you," I said.
"I love you," you said.
I pushed my cheek against your temple and held you while you trembled against me, gradually emerging from pleasure. For the thousandth time I said it, "Marry me,"
You sighed in exasperation, saying for the thousandth time, "It never works out. Marriage is a bad idea,"
I kissed your forehead, your cheeks.
"You're never going to stop asking me, are you?" you said.
"No," I said.
"How old were you when you were changed?" you asked.
I thought about it. "Twenty-seven," I said.
"So, you'll be twenty-seven when I'm fifty? When I'm seventy?"
I wish I could explain it to you. There will never be another you. It's the most terrifying word in any language: NEVER. When you're fifty, when you're seventy, you'll be all the more precious to me, I'll need you even more. Thirty years, fifty years can slip by with horrible speed. We have only now, and I love you. You won't be here again. I need you. No, I'll never stop asking you. I can't.
In the middle of these thoughts, I woke up.
The night we fought the Three you saw my tattoo for the first time. I've never told you about it. It's a very old design, it belongs to my family. There were several clans in my country that laid claim to certain animal totems of a sort, it's a very ancient tradition. My ancestors associated themselves with flying creatures, which are symbols of victory in battle, and of war in general. I won't bore you too much, but I needed to tell you, because the enemies I have in Ireland are ancient ones. They are taking vengeance for clan members they lost in LA, but the underlying hatred their clan has held for mine for centuries has given them a reason to mobilize all of their forces.
The Ancient ones do not feed themselves; they are vampires so advanced in age that they do not hunt anymore. Their power is so potent that they impel their minions to serve them with thought alone. Storming their strongholds directly would be suicide, and I hope to return home, to America, where you are. Although, maybe it's something to reconsider. Everything might be easier for you if...but I don't know if I can, I don't know if I can bear to be this far away from you.
I will have to take them out one by one, if possible, and I will have to use guerrilla tactics; not something my ancestors would have been proud of, unfortunately, but it will have to do. They have their clutches, like all vampires do, they have their nests and hideouts, they have their hunting grounds. For obvious reasons I knew a lot about killing other undead by the time I met you, but you've improved my skills. As a hunter, among other things, you are ferociously talented. My success in this will owe so much to you.
I miss you. My old heart is hollow with the ache for you, but I'm richer because of you. Love makes the heart wealthy, even when it hurts.
I love you. Always.